Heikki Kovalainen made his way through karting in his native Finland before moving to the British Formula Renualt Championship in 2001, which had been won the previous year by compatriot Kimi Raikkonen. Heikki managed two wins and an overall fourth place in the championship, and in 2002 progressed to British Formula Three, driving for Fortec, and managing a third place in the championship.
In 2003, Heikki moved on to the World Series by Nissan – the forerunner of the World Series by Renualt – where he finished second in the championship behind team mate Franck Montagny. Heikki stayed in the series for 2004, where he won the title with six race wins.
Heikki moved on to the new GP2 series in 2005, where he finished second in the championship behind Nico Rosberg. This series of successful seasons moving through the various series raised Heikki’s profile, and he spent the 2006 series as the Renault Formula One test driver, and in 2007 was promoted to a race seat alongside Giancarlo Fisichella where his best result was a fourth place finish and a seventh place in the championship.
2008 saw a move to McLaren to partner Lewis Hamilton and replace Fernando Alonso, and saw Heikki’s first – and so far only – Formula One win at Hungary, as well as a second and third place, and again, a seventh place finish in the championship.
Heikki Kovalainen stayed with McLaren for the 2009 season, although this was a year that saw no podiums and a twelfth place in the championship. 2010 saw a move to the Lotus Racing team, and a 20th place finish in the championship, and a 22nd place in the 2011 championship. The team was renamed Caterham in 2012, and the year saw another 22nd place for Heikki.
Heikki Kovalainen was not re-signed for the 2013 season, as Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde got the race seats, but stayed in good terms with the team, and re-appeared as the team’s test driver, taking part in Free Practice in Bahrain and Spain.
Heikki reappeared in Formula One as a driver at the US Grand Prix in 2013, replacing his compatriot Kimi Raikkonen who was recovering from a back operation. There was rumour – or perhaps, hope from his fans – that this would line up Heikki for a drive in 2014, however, it was not to be.
Here are some of my pictures of Heikki from various events over the years. I hope that you like them.
There is a list of my various galleries of Formula One drivers here.